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topic id 33199: IDEA- Integrity & Balance by Customers & Pros
topic id 32384: Private Chef/Catering Pricing
topic id 32826: Raising prices but do not state what the prices are!!!!!
topic id 26197: Paying twice for the same lead
topic id 25265: Pricing
topic id 24883: The purpose of promotion and set your budget in advance
topic id 22503: Leads
topic id 22064: Questionable leads
topic id 14288: Declined "Leads" charged
topic id 19454: Marketing Executive From Thumbtack Chooses Promoted Lead, Then Radio Silence
Level 10

How Would You Negotiate A Price For A Job That Did Not Have Everything Listed?

Ok, now that I have turned on Promote and I will automatically pay for jobs that match, and the jobs do not match because Thumbtack does not ask some very key questions. Where does Thumbtack show us any recommendations how to proceed with negotiations to raise the price to the correct level?

Somewhere, I seem to recall TT suggesting that the price is not final. But the customer will most likely thinks the price is final. So Thumbtack has suggested that I put all my pricing into my profile. I have come close to that by mentioning some key items that Thumbtack does not ask about like finished basements, wood decks, and the age of the house over 50 years are higher than what TT tells the customers before they choose me.

Is there any sample verbiage that works with every customer every time so that they know in advance that TT did not show them the final price?

What is the protocol? I recently had a customer make a request and they failed to mention the full basement. Actually they did not mention any basement because they did not check the box for basement. So that leaves me to assume that this home has a slab foundation. And part of the basement is finished. This was not what the customer saw when they selected me. The final price should have been at least 30% higher than what was shown to them.

No worries. There was no negotiations and the buyer backed out completely and canceled the job while I was driving to the house and would arrive in 10 minutes. But I still paid for the job just like the other Pros who did not get it. And TT would not refund the charge. They said that the full basement and partial finished did not meet the criteria for any fund because it was close to a match and the basement area was insignificant. Oh did I mention the detached garage? Those are not even required as part of my State Inspection protocol. TT does not ask about accessory buildings like detached garages when the customers create their request.

Now, even if I wanted to negotiate, what method do I use? What sage wisdom does TT have for me? Will they give me a refund when the customers refuses to negotiate for the increased cost of the extras? And how would I defend against a bad review if the customers backs out and blames me?

All I wanted to do was make a profit.

John C Hansen, LEED AP
Hansen Home Inspections
Occupations (1)
4 responses
Level 12

Re: How Would You Negotiate A Price For A Job That Did Not Have Everything Listed?


Great post!!

I'm afraid that majority of refund requests will not be given because you got a "lead" in your inbox, and according to Thumbtack, it's an exact match. Also, if you have given your contact information to a "customer", you will not receive a refund. I tried to get a refund recently, but was denied because "customer" has my contact information. But, who knows if you call or ask a moderator to look into a refund, maybe you will receive a refund or two?

As for bad reviews being left, I don't know how we can defend from that, even when we do an excellent job. I know of some Pros who are friends of mine, that have told me "customers" left a bad review, even after doing a great job, and my friends were told by TT that there was nothing that can be done to remove them as they were valid. I suggested that they comment under the bad reviews, in case future "customers" read those reviews.

DJ Stevie 8-7-2019

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Level 10

Re: How Would You Negotiate A Price For A Job That Did Not Have Everything Listed?

Yes  @DJStevie  I got a lead. But I have repeatedly submitted suggestions to Thumbtack how they could help me target job leads that really match my preferences. And nothing has happened.

Older houses cost more to inspect, but Thumbtack does not use any criteria for pricing other than the square footage of the home. And they do not ask for vital information to arrive at the correct square footage of the home.

Thumbtack does no ask the customers if there is any part of the basement that is finished. If I had a choice, I would simply not target any home with a finished basement. Then I would not see the lead and not lose anything. When I find a job on the Job Tab with a finished basement, I could quote it corectly. But that is not possible when using Targeting.

Thumbtack does not ask the customers if there is a wood deck. Again, if I had a choice, I would simply not target any home with a wood deck. Then I would not see the lead and not lose anything by having to inspect and then report on the deck. 30% or more of all decks I have ever inspected should have been removed from the house and completely rebuilt. They are a liability to me and the customer. Imagine how they would feel if someone was injured on their deck and my report did not include EVERY defect that the deck had.

Thumbtack combines new construction with recently remodeled homes as if they have the same pricing structure. New construction is a totally different animal and typically requires multiple inspections. I would target new construction. But I am never given that opportunity. And a recently renovated home has a very high risk of being sold by a flipper. Very often the flipper did not get permits for the work and the work was not approved by the building department.

Multi unit buildings have far more work involved than a single family home of the same square footage. A three flat has three kitchens and three utility rooms and three furnaces and water heaters. Three chimneys. There is no way to make a profit when square footage is the only factor used to calculate the price of a home inspection. 

Thumbtack describes Targeting as an improved system and it is nothing more than promoting with a new name. And regardless of the name, it will not work until Thumbtack adds significantly more granular targeting for the Pros to use as a filter.

John C Hansen, LEED AP
Hansen Home Inspections
Level 6

Re: How Would You Negotiate A Price For A Job That Did Not Have Everything Listed?

I understand your frustration. I’m in a completely different industry but experiencing similar problems.

I feel like Thumbtack is not listening to the pros and I am looking for other sources for lead generation.

I am spending more time requesting refunds and monitoring my payments than responding to jobs.

Level 4

Re: How Would You Negotiate A Price For A Job That Did Not Have Everything Listed?

This is so true! I've literally been requesting a lot of refunds lately more than I've been on the lookout for actual leads. 

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